LINGUIST List 13.2863

Wed Nov 6 2002

Diss: Syntax: Przepi�rkowski "Case Assignment..."

Editor for this issue: Karolina Owczarzak <>


  1. adamp, Syntax: Przepi�rkowski "Case Assignment..."

Message 1: Syntax: Przepi�rkowski "Case Assignment..."

Date: Tue, 05 Nov 2002 12:29:41 +0000
From: adamp <>
Subject: Syntax: Przepi�rkowski "Case Assignment..."

Institution: University of T�bingen
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed 
Degree Date: 1999

Author: Adam Przepi�rkowski 

Dissertation Title: 
Case Assignment and the Complement-Adjunct Dichotomy: A
Non-Configurational Constraint-Based Approach

Dissertation URL:

Linguistic Field: Semantics, Syntax
Subject Language: Polish

Dissertation Director: Erhard Hinrichs
Dissertation Director: Marek Swidzinski

Dissertation Abstract: 

Ever since the advent of modern linguistics in the Fifties, propelled
by early works of an MIT linguist, Noam Chomsky (especially, Chomsky
1957 and 1959), syntactic trees have played an important role in
linguistic explanation. Different behaviour of different syntactic
entities has often been explained by their differing
tree-configurational positions.

The most general aim of this study is to show that the role of
tree-configurationality is much less important than often assumed, and
that various phenomena should rather be analysed with the help of
other linguistic mechanisms. In particular, this study deals with two
areas of syntax in which tree-configurationality is supposed to be
directly manifested, namely, syntactic case assignment and the
complement/adjunct dichotomy.

In both areas, we present formal syntactic accounts of the relevant
phenomena which do not rely on tree-configurationality. In fact, we
argue that, in both cases, configurationality-based analyses are at
best unmotivated, and at worst empirically wrong and

The main empirical basis of this study is Polish, a West Slavic
language with a number of interesting case and valency
phenomena. Thus, most of the empirical results obtained below will be
of particular relevance to Slavic linguistics. However, when
developing the general approaches to case assignment and to the
complement/adjunct dichotomy, we will briefly look at phenomena from
other languages, as different as English, German, Korean and Finnish,
and attempt to obtain a cross-linguistically valid theory.
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